A student set himself ablaze in the Osmania University campus even as Andhra Pradesh police stopped hundreds of students from marching towards the assembly in Hyderabad on Saturday.
More than 300 students were arrested at different places in the city as they tried to defy prohibitory orders and take out a rally to the assembly.
The student, S Yadaiah, set himself afire by pouring kerosene to protest the delay in carving out a Telangana state. The 19-year-old suffered 70 per cent burns and his condition is stated to be critical.
In a suicide note, Yadaiah, a student of the city’s Noble College, wrote that he was taking the extreme step because the government was unresponsive to the aspirations of the people.
Tension prevailed in Osmania campus after the news of the self-immolation spread. Students gathered in hordes and tried to come out on to the main roads. But the police pushed them back into the campus.
Earlier in the day, students chanting ‘Jai Telangana’ marched to the assembly, but were stopped by the police near Vidyanagar. Some were arrested.
Angry protesters then set three buses on fire at the Jamia Osmania railway station near the university.
The students also vandalised Vice-Chancellor Tirupati Rao’s car when he tried to persuade them not to take out a rally, and instead hold a peaceful protest within the campus.
Police closed the gates of Nizam College near the assembly and City College near the high court to prevent students from coming out. Both colleges had announced support to Osmania students.
Authorities also stopped several trains on the Hyderabad-Warangal route, apparently to prevent students of Warangal’s Kakatiya University from reaching the city. Police, however, claimed that trains were stopped after a hoax bomb call.
South Central Railway cancelled almost all local trains in Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
In Delhi, the Justice B N Srikrishna committee issued a notice seeking views and suggestions from the public, political parties and local organisations on Telangana.
The notice, published in major English dailies in Delhi and in Telugu, Hindi, English and Urdu newspapers in Andhra, said the suggestions should be sent within 30 days.